UNESCO and the Commonwealth and have entered into a new agreement to cooperate in the areas of Education, Youth and Sport and Peace-building and Dialogue. The agreement will focus on collaborative approaches so that, for example, the Commonwealth’s on-line Education Hub can be used to support UNESCO’s programme in Global Citizenship Education.
Following the signing ceremony with the Commonwealth’s Secretary-General, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova underline the importance of deepening cooperation across the board. “I believe the time has come, indeed to update it, to strengthen cooperation, with a focus on education, on youth empowerment, on promoting intercultural dialogue,” said Irina Bokova.
The Commonwealth’s Secretary-General, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, said by working together, the two organisations can empower young people so they can tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems, from climate change to ending poverty. “I am confident that this renewed partnership will lead to concrete results in a range of areas, from the development of curricula to support the Sustainable Development Goals to the creation of alternate narratives to those of extremist recruiters, in order to counter violent extremism.”
During her visit, the Commonwealth Secretary-General addressed UNESCO’s Executive Board, briefing them on her priority areas: ending domestic violence, reducing the impact of climate change and creating opportunities for young people.
UNESCO and the Commonwealth first signed a memorandum of understanding in 1980. This latest renewal will last for five years and will strengthen their ability to deliver concrete programmes on the ground.